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Full text of "A history of Persia"

CONQUESTS OF NADIR SHAH        351
position. Kandahar now lay at the mercy of Nadir, who
treated it with statesmanlike moderation. He even
enlisted a body of Afghans, who became some of his best
and most faithful soldiers. Husayn fled, but afterwards
surrendered and was interned in Mazanderan. Of the
Ghilzais a large number were removed to the neighbour-
hood of Nishapur, whence Abdali nomads were brought
to take their place in the Kandahar district.
The siege of Kandahar reflects no glory on Nadir
Shah, who blockaded it for a year without attempting to
take it by other means. The event proved it to be by
no means impregnable, and it would have speedily
succumbed to determined assaults.
The Expedition of Riza Kuli Mirza against Balkk.—
During the blockade of Kandahar, Nadir's eldest son,
Riza Kuli Mirzay was despatched from Khorasan with
twelve thousand picked men to attack Balkh, whose chief
had promised aid to Husayn. After a fierce assault,
which lasted without intermission for three days and
nights, the " Mother of Cities" surrendered. The
Prince then crossed the Oxus and defeated an Uzbeg
army forty thousand strong. Nadir thereupon recalled
him, being unwilling to entangle himself in another
campaign at this juncture, and wrote to the King of
Bokhara that he had ordered his son not to disturb
countries <c which were the inheritance of the descendants
of Chengiz Khan and of the race of the Turkoman."
The State of India in A.H. 1151 (1738).—During the
tedious months which were spent in front of Kandahar, it
is certain that Nadir frequently discussed an expedition
against Delhi, which would be the natural sequel to
a successful Afghan campaign. I therefore propose to
devote a few words to the state of India.
The last great Moghul Emperor was Aurangzeb. At
his death, in 1707, his empire stretched from Kabul to
the Bay of Bengal. Indeed all India except the apex of
the Deccan nominally obeyed him, although in the south
his authority was limited to the forts and cities held by
his garrisons. After his decease, the break up of the
empire began. The elusive Marathas, who had foiled all